Food like art, has no boundaries.
A dish that was once just the chef’s imagination, can be brought alive the next moment using varied ingredients, that create a slew of flavours.
India is a true food lovers paradise and experimenting with ingredients is not new to us. Our penchant for using almost every part of a plant, or vegetable has led to the creation of some of the best dishes, India can boast off…
Today, we present an exclusive collection of flower and vegetable bloom recipes that our readers have shared with us. These are all time-tested and known for their health benefits, besides their unique flavour.
Moringa Flower Sabzi (Bengali Style)
Recipe Contributor: Smita Chakraborty, secondary section teacher at Vibgyor High International School, Nibm.
200 gm Moringa Flowers, 4-5 soft baby drumsticks, 1 brinjal, 1 potato, oil- preferably mustard oil.
Khada Masala: Bengali paanch phoran mix- 2 tsp (mix of same portions of jheera, kalaunji, methi, sauf, wild celery seeds), 1 tbsp-mustard paste.
- Blanche the Moringa flowers for 15 minutes, wash thoroughly.
- Dice the Brinjal and potatoes into 1 inch pieces. Slice the soft drumsticks into 1 inch length pieces.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a medium sized wok.
- Once the oil heats up, lower the flame and add the paanch phoran mix- 2tsp.
- Without burning the masala add potatoes, fry till golden. Add the Brinjal and fry, simmer with lid for 5 minutes.
- Add salt, turmeric 1 tsp, 1 tsp sugar/jaggery. Mix well, add the mustard paste mixed with 1/2 cup water, put the lid and simmer for 8 minutes.
- Once the potatoes are soft, add the flowers and soft drumsticks, toss at higher flame.
- Once the flowers soften up with sabji and is cooked, switch off flame and cover the lid. Keep for 10 minutes before serving.
- Mustard oil is optional.
- In case of unavailability of wild celery seeds, it can be omitted.
- People who have digestive issues can use the mustard paste, straining off the excess water.
- Always use golden/white mustard to make paste. Mustard has to be soaked 15 mins before making paste.
Banana Flower Cutlet
Recipe Contributor: Leena Dam, an educator by profession and chef at heart.
For pressure cooking:100 gms banana flower (shredded), 2 medium sized potatoes, salt to taste, 1 cup water.
½ cup desiccated coconut, ¼ cup coarsely grounded peanuts, 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder, ¼ tsp turmeric, ¾ tsp garam masala powder, ¾ tsp fennel powder, ½ cup semolina / bread crumbs, salt as required, oil for deep frying.
- Pressure Cook shredded banana flower and potatoes for 2 whistles.
- Once cooked, drain water completely.
- In a large bowl mix well all the dry except bread crumbs.
- Knead the boiled ingredients to the mixture. Use one tsp oil to bind all ingredients.
- Roll out the mixture in your desired shape.
- Cover with semolina or bread crumbs to get a crispy coating.
- Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown.
- Drain off excess oil in absorbent paper.#Serve hot banana flower cutlets with Kasundi (Mustard Sauce); (1 cup = 250 ML)
Rose and Lychee Sorbet
Recipe Contributor: Ishika Uppal, a passionate home-chef who loves to take flavours beyond ecstasy.
1 cup of peeled and deseeded lychee, 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 1 tsp rose water, Sugar 2 tbsp, Rose petals 1/2 cup + for garnish.
- Put the lychees in a zip lock bag and freeze them for 4-5 hours.
- In a blender put the freezed lychees and add little coconut milk.
- Blend it and keep adding coconut milk little by little till there’s a smooth paste.
- Add sugar, rose water and rose petals and blend again.
- Let it set in the freezer. Once it’s almost set, take it out and blend again.
- Refreeze it until set. Scoop out and serve chilled with some rose petals.
#Preparation time :10 minutes; Serves : 4
Banana Flower Gravy
Recipe Contributor: Bhargavi, a post graduate in Economics and a mother to 2 lovely daughters. She is a Mom-preneneur who has recently ventured into the food business. This recipe has been traditionally handed down over to her.
Banana flower extracts – 1 cup, Coconut (grated) – 1/2 cup, Tamarind – little quantity, Red chillies – 4 nos (take more if spicy food is preferred), Coriander seeds – 1 tsp, Split black gram (urad dal) – 1 tsp, Sesame seeds – 1 tsp, Oil, Salt to taste.
- Peel the banana flower, wash it thoroughly, cut into medium sized pieces and immerse in tamarind water. (use inner bracts only)
- Then boil this water till the flower bracts become soft and cooked.
- Meanwhile, dry roast the sesame seeds in a pan.
- After this is done, remove the seeds in a different container; take oil in the same pan. Roast split black gram, red chillies and coriander seeds till slightly brown.
- After everything mentioned above is cooled to room temperature, take the boiled banana bracts, all the roasted items, coconut and salt in a mixer and grind them to a smooth paste. Add little water if required. The tamarind water used for cooking the bracts can be used.
- Banana flower chutney/side dish is ready.
#Serves as a perfect accompaniment to rice, roti or dosa.
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